The many Hugh Nibley courtship story myths

Imagine, if you will, that Hugh Nibley is stuck like Bill Murray in the movie "Groundhog Day" -- except instead of repeating the same day over and over, the magic of folklore is creating multiple stories of how Nibley found love and marriage at BYU.

William A. Wilson, an emeritus professor of English at BYU, spoke about Nibley and folklore on Thursday, March 4, as part of BYU's Neal A. Maxwell Institute's weekly lecture series celebrating the 100th anniversary of Nibley's birth.

Wilson's expertise is folklore (BYU's folklore archives are named after him), and he recounted multiple versions of a story Mormons love to tell: How Hugh Nibley got married.

Story 1

Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve told Nibley he needed to married if he were to be teaching at BYU. Nibley said that was fine "As long as you arrange that the first girl I meet at BYU will be my wife." Nibley went to BYU's housing office, met the secretary Phyllis Draper. A few months later they were married.

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